VoiceThread Docs / Troubleshooting / File types accepted

VoiceThread allows you to have conversations around almost any type of file, including images, videos, documents, and presentations; however, it is a big, wild world of technological standards out there, and there will be times when you run into a file that just doesn’t work the way you expect. Here is an overview of our currently supported file types and advice about what to do when one of them doesn’t seem to work.

First, always make sure that you are using the latest version of Google Chrome or Mozilla Firefox as your web browser.

File-type basics

  • Size: No single file can be larger than 25MB with a free account or 3 GB with an upgraded account. If your file is larger than that, try breaking it up into smaller files and uploading them individually. To upgrade your account, please visit the VoiceThread Products page. 8 Mobile videos: Mobile devices are great for recording video, but many of the record in high definition by default. This creates very large files. Try adjusting your device’s settings to record at a lower resolution to create smaller files that are compatible with a wider range of services.
  • Files you definitely can’t upload: .swf, .html, and .txt


JPEG, GIF, PNG, HEIC, and BMP are all acceptable image types that you can upload into a VoiceThread. Because a VoiceThread can zoom in and out on images and documents, we recommend that your images be at least 1280×960 (which a 2mp or higher camera can produce) so that when you zoom in on an image, it appears crisp and detailed. We also accept a number of less common image formats, including vector graphics like SVG.


Audio files must be in MP3 or WAV format.


It seems like we should have a list of all the video file types we accept, but it gets a little complicated. There are a number of “container” formats like QuickTime, WMV, and AVI, that are like an envelope containing the video. A QuickTime movie can be encoded by close to 40 different codecs. We can convert the vast majority of them, but not all. This means we can’t say we can accept “all” QuickTime, WMV, or AVI videos, but we do accept most. Unfortunately a little trial and error is the only way to know for sure. We’re constantly adding to the list of file types we support.

VoiceThread’s video doodling feature, which allows you to draw on a video, can only stop on “keyframes.” If the subject of your video requires you to stop precisely in a fast moving video, then you’ll want more frequent keyframes. If you don’t know what we’re talking about, that’s absolutely fine. The default settings will work perfectly 99% of the time.


DOC, DOCX, PDF, ODT, XLS, XLSX, and ODS are all supported.

If you are adding the document to your VoiceThread in order to provide additional printable materials to your participants, make sure to tell them how to download them.

If you’re putting a document into your VoiceThread because you want to have a discussion about the text within it, then we suggest changing the format to “landscape” mode (wider and shorter) and making your text much bigger. This will make the text much more accessible and readable to the average participant. Take a look at this tutorial for details about formatting documents for VoiceThread.

If your text gets distorted in any way, the most reliable format to use is PDF. The PDF format was designed for document portability and precise reproduction, so it’s the best way to get exactly what you want.


PPT, PPTX, Keynote, ODP, and PDF are all supported presentation file types. When you upload a presentation file, we will store the original and then break it up into individual slides within the VoiceThread. Please note that animations, links, and transitions are not preserved in VoiceThread. If you experience any formatting issues (strange fonts or layout) after you’ve uploaded the presentation, try converting the original presentation to a PDF and then upload it again.

While a VoiceThread allows you to have a conversation about almost any type of media, there are occasionally times when a file simply won’t work because of an uncommon or undocumented incompatibility with some element within the file. If you cannot convert the file to a format that VoiceThread will accept, send us a note, and we’ll see if we can help.